STUDY: St. Louis City biggest smokers; Madison County most obese in area

In Missouri - St. Louis has the highest adult obesity rate, the most smokers, and rank least likely to get a flu vaccine.

Fred Bodimer
March 22, 2019 - 9:36 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The recently released County Health Rankings for this year provides a quick glimpse into how local residents are doing on some important health behaviors. 

The study found that when it comes to the adult obesity rate on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, St. Louis City residents tip the scales the most, with a 35-percent obesity rate.  That's followed by 32-percent obesity rate in Jefferson and Franklin counties, 29-percent in St. Louis County, and the area's lowest obesity rate of 28-percent is found in St. Charles County.  

In Illinois, Madison County residents are the heaviest, with a 36-percent obesity rate.  St. Clair and Monroe counties are at 33-percent.  Jersey County is 32-percent.

St. Louis City residents have the most smokers, with an adult smoking rate of 25-percent.  That's followed by 23-percent in Jeffeson County, 20-percent in Franklin County, 18-percent in St. Louis County and 17-percent in St. Charles County. 

In Illinois, lower overall adult smoking numbers, with St. Clair County residents at 18-percent, followed by Madison County at 16-percent, Jersey County 15-percent and a 13-percent smoking rate in Monroe County.

What's the influenza vaccination rate like across the St. Louis area? 

Statewide in Missouri, 44-percent of residents get a flu shot. In Illinois, it's 45-percent.

According to the County Health Rankings, St. Charles County residents led the way in getting vaccinated at 54-percent.  52-percent of St. Louis County residents got a flu shot, followed by 51-percent in Jefferson County, 50 percent in Franklin County -- and a big drop off to 40-percent of St. Louis City residents.

Among Metro East residents, Monroe County had a 54-percent flu shot rate, followed by 49-percent in Madison County, 44-percent in St. Clair County -- and another big drop -- down to 37-percent in Jersey County.​

The study was released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute. The complete nationwide and Missouri and Illinois-specific rankings may be viewed at